Communications Strategy

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Why have a strategy?

It is important to plan. It is important to be consistent. It is important to know what you want to achieve from your communications.

Churches have limited resources. We don't have large communication budgets and the people working for us have many calls on their time. Churches are busy places. Most of loads of activities going on throughout the week. All could be publicised but you can't do everything.

It's important to plan.

A communications strategy helps you think through what your church is trying to do and to make sure that the effort you put into communication isn't wasted. Here are some things to think about.

Aims and vision: You need to think about what you want from your communications. What are the most important mesages you wnat to give out and where your priorities are. This will help you organise your communication resources. If you have a church vision or mission then your priorities should be to communicate around that vision.

Audience: You need to think about who you are trying to attract and what is likely to work for them. Different people like different things and will respond to different messages. Vary your approach in terms of the images you use, the way you write, the design you use so that you can beb relevant. Do some research. Find oiut what your audience watch, read, enjoy so you can find ways to appeal.

Methods: There are many different methods of communicating with people. you need to chose the ones you think will work best for your intended audience. This may be a newsletter, leaflet, factsheet or press release. You could want to do something on a website or an email campaign. Or it may be the best way to reach people is through a letter or word of mouth. You need to chose what you can do and what you think will work.

Style: You need to think about the style and tone of your communication activities. Do you want to use plain English? How formal do you want your written style to be? How do you make sure that the style is consistent in all the ways and means you use to communicate.

Making it happen: You need to think about how you will make sure your plans happen. You may want to consider having a group that looks after the church's communications. Or maybe you simply want one person to deal with these matters? Can you share some of the work and costs with local churches?
Developing a Communications Strategy
What is a communications strategy?

A communications strategy is a plan of action that is based around sharing your key messages and important information about the work you are doing with the local and/or wider community.

It is a simple list of what you want to tell people, and how you intend to tell them.

It involves setting yourself some targets (e.g. "we need to make people aware of…"/"we need to promote…"/"we need people to know that…") and planning how you will make people aware of this (e.g. press releases to local media, website, parish newsletter, leaflets, posters, fliers, public consultations and meetings).

The more specific it is, the better.

Also be aware of your audience – different groups of people may need different methods of communication.

Does my church need a communications strategy?

It depends on your church and circumstances. Perhaps your church is undergoing a period of change - you may want to put a media strategy in place to keep the local community informed, to emphasise the positive things that will come out of these changes, and prepare answers to any negative reactions.

However, you may simply put in place a media strategy to make people aware of the wider services that your church offers – youth church, deaf church, mother and baby groups, coffee mornings etc.

Communications strategies are not necessary – but they may help!

Download a media strategy planning sheet here.

Parish Communication

Help and support

If you need any help or support with your communication strategy then contact:

Stuart Haynes
Director of Communications
0151 705 2150
stuart.haynes@liverpool.anglican.org

Jude Knight
Communications Manager
0151 702 7230
jude.knight@liverpool.anglican.org

Sarah Doyle
Communications Officer
0151 705 2131
sarahdoyle@liverpool.andglican.org